Novel Form of Vitamin B3 May Prevent Obesity

June 18, 2012

2 Min Read
Novel Form of Vitamin B3 May Prevent Obesity

NEW YORKNew research published in the journal Cell Metabolism found high doses of nicotinamide riboside (NR), a novel form of vitamin B3 that is found in small quantities of milk, may be a new weapon in the fight against obesity. The findings suggest NR prevents obesity in mice that are fed a fatty diet, and also increases muscle performance, improves energy expenditure and prevents diabetes development, all without side effects.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Researchers at Polytechnic School in Lausanne, Switzerland, performed the mouse experiments, while the ability to give the animals sufficient doses of NR was made possible by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers, who played key roles in uncovering the biological story of NR.

The researchers found mice on a high-fat diet supplemented with NR gained significantly less weight (60%) than mice fed the same diet without NR, even though the mice supplemented with NR ate the same amount of food as mice on the high fat diet not treated with NR. They had improved energy. They were in better shape than the untreated mice, with significantly better endurance and stronger muscles. Additionally, none of the treated mice developed diabetes, as seen in the untreated mice on the high fat diet. And when fed a normal diet, NR treated mice had improved sensitivity to insulin. The NR treated mice also showed lower cholesterol levels. All of these benefits came without toxicity.

The researchers also reported NR added to mammalian cells and mouse tissues increases nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) levels, which activates sirtuin 1 and sirtuin 3 enzymes, culminating in enhanced oxidative metabolism and protection against high-fat diet-induced metabolic abnormalities. NAD allows sugars, fats and proteins to be converted into energy. Sirtuins are known to mimic a low-calorie diet and extend the lifespan of many organisms.

"This study is very important. It shows that in animals, the use of NR offers the health benefits of a low-calorie diet and exercisewithout doing either one," said Dr. Anthony Sauve, associate professor of Pharmacology at Weill Cornell Medical College. "The bottom line is that NR improves the function of mitochondria, the cell's energy factories. Mitochondrial decline is the hallmark of many diseases associated with aging, such as cancer and neurodegeneration, and NR supplementation boosts mitochondrial functioning."

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